Mark B. Ledenbach's vintage Halloween collectibles blog.

Vintage Halloween Clapper Germany

This seller offered several rare tin litho German noisemakers for a song - $39 each. This particular listing ended less than 8 minutes after activation. I wish I would have seen these listings. (This is a busy time of the year for me.) Another example of why one should use an auction format unless there is an excellent handle on current pricing. 

Antique, Vintage Halloween Tin Litho Metal 1920's Lid, Top, Witch, Cat, Owl

The seller of this fine cymbal visited me at the A Bewitching Fete show held this past Friday evening and Saturday in Pleasanton, California. (It is the one show at which I sell during the year.) The show was crowded and my table was routinely busy, probably because I was the only seller deeply stocked with vintage items. The seller wondered what I thought the ending price would be. I said it should bring no less than ~$150, which seemed to pleasantly surprise her. She must be over the moon with this result. 

Antique HALLOWEEN Cardboard PUMPKIN WAGON Toy Pair

I received an email today asking if these were reproductions. They aren't. For some reason, the bane of our hobby, those who reproduce vintage items and try to pass them off as old, haven't wrapped their repellent claws around this design yet. This slot and tab candy holder was intermittently made by the Dolly Toy Company of Dayton, Ohio from 1934 through 1953. This design is less common than the witch and the black cat carts shown on page 53. SGV is $250. 

10/06 Update: This pair sold at a discount for $305.99. 

Rare Large German Black Cat Pumkin Head Lantern W Ears Red Lips

This really is an eye-catcher! I don't collect German or US pulp lanterns but this one is appealing. The ears, the bright whiskers and insert and the mammoth size all contribute to making this lantern desirable. Look at the strong ending price. Most of the German lanterns with added ornamentation were made in the later 1920s and through 1935. The earlier ones typically are plain. It took a few seasons for the Germans to get in the swing of things. 

Vintage Rare Halloween Beistle Sunflower Tally Card

It is great to see one of the very elusive Beistle tutu tallies being offered, especially by this fine seller. Beistle produced two tutu tally designs in 1930-1931 and sold them as a set. Oddly, this is the one that surfaces more regularly than the other. You can see both designs by turning to page 223. 


What a grand display item to unfurl above a case crammed with vintage Halloween! I agree with this excellent seller that this was undoubtedly something that retailers would receive. Imagine the foresight that someone had to keep this large ephemeral item from being cavalierly tossed away. If I had the wall space, this would have been a wonderful addition to the collection. 

Halloween Beistle Rare Antique Nut Candy Basket 1920 Witch Ghost Cat Owl Bats

It is nice to see a true gem amongst the many listings. This early Beistle creation is among the very first items that began to firmly set their iconography. As I write on page 51, "This delicate basket has virtually all of the early, iconic imagery associated with Beistle. Made at the beginning of their golden age, this light cardboard candy basket has a trio of seated black cats and two flying bats on one of the other sides and a witch with a broom on her shoulder, two flying bats and a pine tree (odd...) in the background on the remaining side." SGV is $325, but one hasn't come available in some time, so it will be fun to see where this ends. 

09/25 Update: The answer is known! This ended at a completely unsustainable price of $687.99. 

New Lantern Design from Tim Ramzyk of Pulp Novelties

Wow! I just received Tim Ramzyk's 2017 Halloween pulp lantern, The Ghost, and LOVE it! As you know, it is rare that I tout anything but vintage items on this blog, but take a look at this unsettling lantern along with three others I am so proud to own - a devil head, a witch head and the frightening Nosferatu.

Tim is a Wisconsin-based artist who meticulously and painstakingly hand molds his own designs from a heavy, durable material. Including this year's true treat, The Ghost, he has 7 designs in limited quantities at price points that are in a few words, way too cheap! The other designs are Nosferatu the Vampire ($95), The Witch ($85), The Skull ($85), The JOL ($70) and The Black Cat ($70).  He has just a handful of The Devil left for $70 each. Once they're gone the design will be retired.

I am in awe at the workmanship and the true craft Tim brings to pulp design. I proudly have now four of his treasures on exhibit in my main display room. (For those who I've been lucky to host at my home, you know that in order for something to be placed in that room, it has to carry its own weight. These do, easily.) 

Tim is only making 40 The Ghost lanterns. Tim told me that this design is more ambitious in that it is made from three castings rather than two. He has cast the eyes in tinted three-dimensional resin - and they are spooky! The price for this masterpiece is much too cheap at $115 with $18 for shipping. Having seen the meticulousness of these wondrous and limited edition objects, I can surely say these prices are way too cheap. (Hurry, order quickly before Tim comes to his senses and raises them!) By the way, Tim numbers each of his creations. 

For those who know me, you know that I rarely buy anything Halloween unless it is vintage. I've made an exception - and you should too. Snap these up before they are ALL GONE by contacting Tim directly at He lists these as well on eBay and Etsy. 


Vintage Halloween Tin Litho Tambourine Noisemaker T. Conn

This seller obtained very nice results across the board for his tin litho offerings, a genre that has been flickering back to life. This tambourine is quite rare. I've been wanting to acquire one for the collection, but this one escaped my scrutiny as I was traveling. Produced by T. Cohn during the 1930s, this design has that motion and energy the best Art Deco designs were meant to convey. 

Vintage Halloween 1920's Rocker Stand Up Fortune Place Card Skeleton, Cat, Owls+

Unusual small paper has been on fire over the last year. This result far exceeds what I would have expected. The tombstone and graveyard motif is underused in vintage Halloween design, and that may have contributed to this eyebrow raising result. You can't go wrong with this seller - truly a gem in our fun field. I wish this piece was marked. It is definitely not Dennison nor Beistle. It doesn't strike me as a Gibson item. Whitney?